Mallam Nasiru Gawuna, Deputy Governor, Kano State, says the state has secured 95 million dollar loan from the Islamic Development Bank in Saudi Arabia to improve irrigation in the state.
Gawuna disclosed this when he received a delegation from the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) at the Government House, Kano, on Wednesday.
According him, the state, which had the best irrigation facilities in the country, needed to improve on them, to strengthen its planned export of agricultural products.
“In terms of agriculture, we have the best irrigation facilities in the country and we are partnering with Islamic Development Bank to restructure them.
“I just came back from Saudi Arabia where we were able to secure a facility; we are going to use most of the 95 million dollars for restructuring irrigation in the state.
“We have the advantage of the largest market in West Africa.
“Whoever that exports ginger, hibiscus or seeds will have to come to Kano to purchase it, process it and export it because Kano is the main hub for that.
“Part of the loan will be used for pastoral agriculture; we are going to develop our production in terms of animals and ruminants.”
According to him, the state is developing the economy of Kano City which in turn will attract investors.
Gawuna however expressed worries over the current low level of freight in Kano International Airport, calling on all relevant stakeholders to assist in reviving activities in the airport.
“The use of Kano airport is one thing which we want the Shippers Council of Nigeria and other relevant agencies to come together and revive.
“Particularly in terms of cargoes, the airfreight forwarders association will have to come in and revive activities in the airport.
“Before now, on a daily basis, we used to have two cargo aircrafts into Kano, but now, we hardly, in a month, get any cargo aircraft.
“We are in contact with quarantine service to build the biggest abattoir in the country and we are going to target meat export,” he said.
Responding, the Executive Secretary of NSC, Mr Hassan Bello, said that the problems affecting airfreight were logistics and cost of export.
Bello however said that the council would assist by opening a desk at the airport to interface with other agencies in handing cargoes.
The executive secretary said further that the council would fashion out a logistics chain that would ease trade.
He urged shippers to patronise the international airport in their export activities, noting that the Federal Government would come up with modalities to ensure easy way of doing business.